Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

4 H Bread and Cookie Contest

The 4 H Bread and Cookie Contest was supposed to be last week, but it was postponed due to weather.  I allow my children to enter up to two items provided that they don't choose recipes that have a lot of unusual expensive ingredients.  Cloverbuds (5-8 year olds) are allowed to used mixes (thank goodness!) but children 9 and older have to make their recipes from scratch.  There is one category that allows for a mix as one one of the ingredients.  There are several different categories such as: drop cookies, shaped cookies, bar cookies, muffins, quick bread loaf, yeast bread, specialty yeast bread, and many more.

We got started Sunday afternoon because I had 5 children who wanted to participate and these things take time!  Lily started working on her blue raspberry cookies first and then made her chocolate chip muffins.  She did get a little help from Emmie.





Christian also did his on Sunday.  He made No Bake Peanut Butter Bars and Chocolate Chunk Cookies.




 Monday we got back to work.  I am so proud of Anthony!  He does not usually voluntarily participate in 4 H workshops and contests.  But, we found a pizza roll recipe and he really wanted to make it!  I was so excited!  He started them in the morning and they were ready by lunchtime.  He picked the three that looked the best for the contest and the children ate the rest for lunch. Not only did he make something for the contest he made lunch for everyone at the same time!



Alex made Cinnamon Swirl Bread.  He loves anything with cinnamon!



Nick made pretzels and M&M Blondies.






Everything was finished and ready to be dropped off at 5:30.  We headed back at 7:15 for the awards.

Lily won two first place ribbons.



Christian won two first place ribbons.


Anthony won a first place ribbon.


Alex won a second place ribbon.


Nick won 2 second place ribbons.




Very proud of their hard work!  


Schoolhouse Crew Review: Koru Naturals



There are times as a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew we have an opportunity to review products that are not just for homeschoolers.  We recently had a chance to use and review Emu Oil and Pure Lanolin Lip Balms from Koru Naturals.

For many years the people of New Zealand have used what nature has to offer to treat ailments, protect the skin, and promote good health.  Since 2002 Koru Naturals has shared the products that they have been using for years.  We have been using two of these products.

Emu Oil from Koru Naturals is a traditional Australian Aboriginal natural oil.  It contains all natural ingredients such as vitamins, mineral, and essential fatty acids, and is fully refined with no preservatives or additives.  Emu oil can be used on hair and unbroken skin.  It acts as a powerful moisturizer and absorbs quickly.  Emu Oil can be purchased in 2 oz, 4 oz, or 8 oz sizes.  You can see all of the pricing options here.


Pure Lanolin Lip Balms contain no preservatives, additives, colors, or fragrances.  It is pure anhydrous lanolin pharmaceutical grade and unlike many other balms does not have any ingredients that can dry out your lips rather than help them to hold moisture in.  The lip balm protects your lips from sun and wind and is water resistant.  The set comes with 4 tubes or pots containing .2 oz each. It can be purchased for $9.80.

Koru Naturals has many other products.  Click on the link to check them out!

My 9 year old gets terribly chapped lips in the winter.  Last year nothing I tried made a difference.  It got so bad that he ended up getting a bacterial infection and then wouldn't you know it he had an allergic reaction to the medication they gave him to treat the infection!  I wanted an opportunity to try out the Pure Lanolin Lip Balms on him.  They really have no color or fragrance at all.  Even though they are packaged like most lip balms that you see in the store, it was not solid like I expected, but rather soft.  I found it easier to apply it to his lips by putting it first on the end of my finger and rubbing it on instead of running the tube across his lips.  I had him use the lip balm twice a day once in the morning and once before bed.  What a difference!  No problem at all with dry, cracking, bleeding lips.

The Emu Oil  I have been using myself.  I get really dry feet in the winter time, especially around my heels.  I am talking really dry.  Like to the point the dry skin rubs holes in my socks!  I pour a small amount into my palm and message into my heels twice day.  The first time I used it, I used too much and it did feel greasy.  But after that I started with a smaller amount.  A little bit goes a long way!  It hasn't solved the problem completely, but it is much better then it was before I started using the Emu Oil.  The palms of my hands are much softer than they were before too.  I was surprised too that the Emu Oil really has no odor to it at all.

My husband tried to use some of the Emu Oil on his beard.  The skin underneath it can get itchy, especially in the winter.  He was not impressed with it though.  He thought it made his beard feel greasy and the skin was still itchy.  He only tried it a few times and may not have gotten a good balance of oil or massaged it in well enough.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.


Koru Naturals Review

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 24

Weather played a big part in changing our plans this week.  We had sleet/ice/snow on Monday, and then on Wednesday we actually had snow accumulation.  Our activities that were planned were cancelled and we cancelled school to have a snow day.  We did get a little bit of work done in our homeschool :)

Week 24 In Our Homeschool

Bible: We finished up our packet of Bible Study Guide For All Ages.  We will be working on studying Proverbs and start a read aloud on a missionary next week.

History: This week in Mystery of History Vol III we completed Lessons 61,62, and 63 on Rene Descartes, John Winthrop and the Puritans, and Galileo Gallilei.  We did the timeline figures, memory cards and took the quiz aloud.

Science: We did a few worksheets on magnetism and made a compass.  We also watched a video on weather.





Grammar/Writing/Literature: Nick and Alex finished Lesson 21 of Fix it! Grammar and started Lesson 16 of Medieval Writing.  Christian's Lightning Lit book was Mouse Soup and his grammar focused on using commas. There are 12 more units in his book and out of the 12 books being used our library only has one of them.  I have one other.  So we will for sure do those two units, and I am not sure what we will do after that.  Anthony is still reading Charlotte's Web.  His grammar focused on transition words.



Spelling/Reading: Anthony and Christian finished Lesson 9 of AAR Level 2.

Math: Nick finished lesson 24 of Pre-Algebra.  Alex finished Lesson 21 of Delta.  Anthony and Christian finished lesson 22 of Gamma and Beta.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z:

We continued working on and finished up the letter "c" for cow.  We made a collage out of magazine photos of dairy foods, made butter, completed a math page, drawing page, and the blend ladder pages.  She also made her cow badge and added it to the wall.  The books we read included the Milk Makers and  Ferdinand the Bull. 







Other Activities This Week:

Monday we were supposed to have archery and a 4 H cooking contest.  Both were cancelled because of weather.

Tuesday was gymnastics.  The little girls and I also ran to the library.



Wednesday was our snow day!  The children had a great time in the snow and we cancelled school for the day. 

We also celebrated Chelsea's birthday.  Her actual birthday wasn't until Friday but she had some plans with some friends that day so we had it on Wednesday instead.  Our birthday person gets to choose a meal and she chose chicken alfredo lasagna, with homemade bread, and salad.  I also made a chocolate chip cookie cake.



Thursday we had school but started a little late.  I let the children go back out in the morning because I knew the snow would be gone by lunch.  Because area school were closed and some areas had more snow than we did, our 4 H meeting got cancelled.  Actually that turned out not to be a bad thing.  As we were finishing up school for the day I walked into a metal chair and broke my baby toe.  Ouch!  

Friday was Chelsea's actual 18th birthday.  Before she left to go to a concert with friends she ran to the store for me and grab what we needed to get through the weekend because I did not want to go grocery shopping since my foot was still hurting quite a bit.  We did get a few light snow flurries on Friday too but it didn't last long.


I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review: A Heart's Disguise by Colleen Coble



Book Description 

" In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West. The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery’s marriage before it’s even begun. After Sarah receives word that her fiancĂ©, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner—despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive—and that Ben Croftner knew it—she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand. But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly—and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancĂ©, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife. But could Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?"

The author's note at the beginning of the book states that this is the fist series that she ever wrote and they have not been in print for nearly ten years.  A Heart 's Disguise is book one of six in The Journey of the Heart series.  It is under a hundred pages long and a very fast read.  I think it has the makings of a good story, but I am not a big fan of books that are divided up so much.  It seems as though they rush through the story and  just when you are getting into it, they cut off in hopes you will purchase the next one in the series.  I also think  that splitting a story into 6 separate books causes the consumer to spend a lot more money then necessary to get the complete story but I see that Amazon has a set of the whole series as one purchase available for preorder.....

That said, this could be a fantastic story by the time it is finished.  It has interesting characters and a good plot, complete with hints of danger, love, and mystery.  I absolutely loved this (talking about how it can be hard to see God's plan in our lives), "She was doing some embroidery work, and I looked up at the underside of the hoop.  The yarn was all tangled and gnarled.  A real mess.  But when I climbed up beside her and looked down on what she was working on, it was a beautiful garden.  That's the way our lives are.  We're looking at the picture from underneath, but God is working out a specific plan from above."

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Day!!

I grew up in Western New York.  Snow was NOT something very exciting there.  I can remember having snow on Halloween and still having it past Easter.  Very cold temperatures, lots of snow, wind, shoveling, and dressing in layers was just part of life there.  Snow didn't stop anyone or anything unless it was extreme blizzard like conditions.

It has been more than 15 years since we lived in New York and I do not miss the snow at all.  I will take the heat of  Arkansas summers any day.  The children however, think snow is wonderful.  Every year they worry and wonder if they will get to play out in the snow.  Usually we get one good snow every year.  We have had several possibilities of snow this year that have all fizzled out or gone around us.  Earlier this week they predicted snow and ice.  We got the sleet but hardly any snow. When the forecast showed snow for us today, we were doubtful it would actually happen, especially when it started this morning as sleet again.  But, around 9 am the sleet started turning into fluffy white snow flakes.  The children were so excited!

Since it is such a novelty we did cancel school and had a snow day.  The children and the dog spent most of the day outside making snow angels, sledding, and building snow men.  When they came in to warm up I threw their stuff in the dryer so they would be dry to put on again.  It snowed until after 4 o clock and when I measured around 3 we had 3.5 inches of snow.










the dog stole the first carrot nose!




Even Chelsea wandered out




We made some snow ice cream



And a few more snowmen

 Anthony made a snow chair.



And I spent the day in front of this.


Ok, I also cleaned out a closet, did some laundry, some baking, and wrote a review.

Happy Homeschooling!